Physico-chemical and bacteriological quality of drinking water of different sources, Jimma zone, Southwest EthiopiaReport as inadecuate

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BMC Research Notes

, 8:541



BackgroundThe quality of drinking water has always been a major health concern, especially in developing countries, where 80 % of the disease cases are attributed to inadequate sanitation and use of polluted water. The inaccessibility of potable water to large segment of a population in the rural communities is the major health concern in most part of developing countries. This study was designed to evaluate the physico-chemical and bacteriological qualities of drinking water of different sources in the study area.

MethodsThe study was conducted at Serbo town and selected kebeles around the same town in Kersa district of Jimma Zone, southwest Ethiopia. Socio-demographic characteristics of the study populations were gathered using structured and pre-tested questionnaires. Standard microbiological methods were employed for determination of bacterial load and detection of coliforms. Physico-chemical analyses including total dissolved substances TDS, total suspended substances TSS, biological oxygen demand BOD, nitrate and phosphate concentrations, turbidity and electrical conductivities were conducted following guidelines of American Public Health Association and WHO. Correlations among measured parameters of water samples collected from different water sources were computed using SPSS software version 20.

ResultOnly 18.1 % 43-237 of the study population had access to tap water in the study area. More than 50 % of the community relies on open field waste disposal. Members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Bacillus and Pseudomonas were among dominant bacterial isolates in the water samples. All water samples collected from unprotected water sources were positive for total coliforms and fecal coliforms FC. Accordingly, FC were detected in 80 % of the total samples with counts ranging between 0.67 and 266.67 CFU-100 ml although 66.67 % of tap water samples were negative for FC. The recorded temperature and pH ranged between 20.1–29.90 °C and 5.64–8.14, respectively. The lowest and highest mean TDS were 116 and 623 mg-l, respectively. Furthermore, the mean concentration of TSS ranged between 2.07 and 403.33 mg-l. Turbidity, electric conductivity, and nitrate concentration of the water samples ranged, respectively, between 0.01–65.4 NTU, 30.6–729 μS-cm, and below detection limit to 95.80 mg-l. In addition, the mean dissolved oxygen values were found to be between 1.62 and 10.71 mg-l; whereas BOD was within the range of 8–77 mg-l. In all water samples, the concentrations of zinc were within the WHO maximum permissible limits 3 mg-l although the lead concentration in about 66.7 % of the samples exceeded the maximum permissible limit 0.01 mg-l.

ConclusionThe present study has revealed that some of the bacteriological data and physico-chemical parameters of the different water sources had values beyond the maximum tolerable limits recommended by WHO. Thus, it calls for appropriate intervention, including awareness development work and improving the existing infrastructure in order to minimize the potential health problems of those communities currently realizing of the available water sources.

KeywordsColiforms Heavy metals Physico-chemical parameters MPN Springs Wells Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s13104-015-1376-5 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Mohammed Yasin - Tsige Ketema - Ketema Bacha


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